March 31, 2011

Accepting Gay Employees Is ‘Commercial Imperative, Bloomberg News

Seth Waugh, chief executive officer for Deutsche Bank AG (DBK)’s Americas division, said it’s a “commercial imperative” for Wall Street to accept openly gay employees.
“All types of diversity make complete economic sense and serve our shareholders over the long run,” Waugh said today at “Out on the Street,” a conference hosted by Deutsche Bank AG to explore how financial institutions can be more accepting of gays. “It creates a richer mosaic of perspectives.”
The end game is a sense of obliviousness and indifference to an employee’s sexuality, Waugh said. The goal is to make Wall Street an “attractive and welcoming” place to work, he said.
“The amount of time and energy and brain function that one expends on just hiding is incredible,” Mark Stephanz, a vice chairman at Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America Corp. (BAC), told the audience in New York.
Three years ago, he told his clients, wife and three children he’s gay, Stephanz said in an interview.
“I thought it would destroy my career, that my clients would want to deal with the straight guy on the golf course instead of a gay guy,” said Stephanz, who joined Bank of America in 1984. “I know there are people who live with the same fear.”
The key to changing an office environment is having openly gay senior-level employees in a firm, said Todd Sears, founder of “Out on the Street,” which is in its inaugural year.
“I want to start a dialogue with senior business managers around how we can actually move things forward,” Sears told the audience.
By Laura Marcinek and Cristina Alesci 

The Council of Europe may pressure Russia on gay rights

A man fleeing after releasing the sign “There will be a gay parade” in 2007.
Igor Tabakov / MT
A man fleeing after releasing the sign “There will be a gay parade” in 2007.
The Council of Europe may pressure Russia on gay rights, including Moscow City Hall's ban on gay pride parades, a senior European lawmaker said Wednesday.
Russian sexual minorities see the same kind of pressure as the country's political opposition, which is a violation of basic human rights, Andreas Gross, a member of the human rights committee with the council's Parliamentary Assembly, told The Moscow Times.
Gross was visiting Moscow to participate in a round table on homophobia, held Wednesday as part of a public campaign for sexual minority rights staged by gay activists this week.
"The respect is not there when it comes to non-mainstream political organizations and non-mainstream sexual orientation," Gross told the round table.
His committee is drafting a Russia report on human rights, including gay rights, together with the State Duma. The report will be presented to the Council of Europe, though Gross did not specify a date.
Gross' main complaint was with the ban on gay pride parades. Activists have campaigned for years to hold the parades in Moscow, but long-serving Mayor Yury Luzhkov spoke against it, calling homosexuals "satanic." Sergei Sobyanin, who replaced him as mayor last fall, has upheld the ban, saying in February: "In short, we won't have any gay pride rallies. Moscow doesn't need them."
The authorities' opposition to parades represents the tip of the problem, because many hate crimes against gays and lesbians go unreported by victims afraid to attract attention, said Igor Kochetkov, head of the Russian Lesbian and Gay League. He could not provide crime estimates.
Gross, speaking to The Moscow Times on the sidelines of the round table, did not elaborate on the possible consequences of his report. But a Moscow-based UN diplomat said political discrimination against sexual minorities has harmed Russia's image for years — a problem that even Russian officials admit in private conversations. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.
But pushing for gay rights might have domestic repercussions because many people remain hostile toward sexual minorities and are likely to disapprove of any political effort to support them.
Even the liberal Yabloko party is divided on whether to collaborate with gay activists, said Galina Mikhailova, a senior party member who attended Wednesday's round table.
"It is a very difficult topic that can only be resolved in a democratic country, not in an authoritarian one like ours," she said.
In a tacit confirmation of her words, the country's six other registered political parties, including the ruling United Russia, declined to participate in the round table.
Male homosexuality was a criminal offense in the Soviet Union, but the clause was canceled by Russia, which after joining the Council of Europe in 1996 signed the European Convention of Human Rights that holds it responsible for protecting the rights of sexual minorities.
Still, homophobia runs deep in society, with Tambov Governor Oleg Betin even saying publicly in 2008 that gays "should be torn apart and their pieces thrown to the wind." Gay activists unsuccessfully sued him over the statement.
Kochetkov said Wednesday that Betin's call, if taken literally, would result in the slaughter of 4 percent of the population. He was referring to a nationwide Levada poll on sexual orientation conducted last year.
"That means each of us could potentially be killed," Kochetkov said.

Scissor Sisters’ frontman on his 2nd puberty also performing naked

They’ve always been gorgeous, but it took a decade before the Scissor Sisters, with their third album Night Work, became full-on filthy. The romp-pop album, released last year, is done up in cheeky softcore innuendo about “funking” someone, the late-shift grind (literally) and “big” surprises.

The Scissor Sisters will be at Orlando’s Hard Rock Live on Thursday, April 7, to showcase those surprises and out frontman Jake Shears had plenty of surprises of his own to share.

Our chat with Shears covered everything—from the conversation that united the band with Lady Gaga for the megastar’s 2011 Monster Ball Tour to the favorite gay icon he wants to meet (Tom Petty?).

Shears also talks to us about the, well, sheer amount of clothing he wears, his wardrobe faux pas and how he defines himself—according to the Urban Dictionary.

WATERMARK: Your Twitter page says you’ve been in the studio recently. Are the Scissor Sisters recording some new music?
JAKE SHEARS: Yeah, I’m in the studio as we speak. We’re writing new music. We’re back in New York for a moment, so we just thought we’d come in and play around and have fun. So yeah, we’re writing, definitely.

The wait won’t be four years like it was for Night Work then?
Well, it was just three and a half. (Laughs.) But it definitely won’t be that long.

So, also in my Twitter finds, I came across a photo of you in a jockstrap.
Oh, great!

Why are you always the naked one in the group?
I… um… just get hot on stage. That’s the main reason. (Laughs.) I usually don’t get naked onstage, but I get excitable and usually it just feels better. The less I have on, the more I can move around. It’s the reason why Iggy Pop is always ripping his shirt off, so he can move and do his thing.

You’re looking beefier than ever, too. Lots of Muscle Milk, huh?
I’ve been drinking a lot of Muscle Milk. I’m preparing for my future as an exercise guru.

The music on Night Work is some of the band’s most sexual. Is it true: Does art imitate life?
The album is very much about our lives that we lead and then our fantasy lives that we lead—so a lot of it does imitate life. A lot of it is just imitating the dreams going on in my brain. But it’s a very sexy record, and I think we were feeling sexy when we were making it.

Your work, as far back as “Filthy/Gorgeous,” has always had a sexy feel to it. How do you explain those constant themes of sexual exploration and liberation in your music?
I think that this is the first record where we’ve really explicitly explored that. So there’s a lot of celebratory stuff, but then there’s a real dark side to it; we love seeing two sides of the same coin. But it was just time for us to take the fringe and the feathers away a bit.

The other thing is I felt like I sort of crossed over the line from being a kid and a boy, which I felt like I was going to be forever, into being a grown man. [It] has definitely changed the way that I think about things, the way that I perform and the things that I wear. It’s been like hitting a second puberty.

SSGay_714160931.jpgWhen you look back at your career—going from Brooklyn clubs, kind of struggling to find an audience, and now opening for the biggest superstar in the world—how do you feel about how far you’ve come?
I really look back fondly at the last 10 years. This year, it’s going to be 10 years since our first performance, so I feel very proud. But, at the same time, I also feel unfit. I feel like as a band we have a lot more to say, and I just think this band is going to constantly turn itself on its head.

Touring with Lady Gaga as her opening act should offer you the exposure that you haven’t necessarily had in the U.S. You’ve always connected better outside of the States. In fact, some people still think you’re a European band.
Totally—a lot of people do.

Why do you think you’ve been able to connect better outside of America?
It’s funny: This last tour we had through America was probably the best American tour we’ve ever done. There’s something so exciting about touring America at this moment for us. I don’t know what it was about this record, but it seemed to make a connection with a real core audience—even more so than the last couple of records.
With our American audience, we really found kind of a center and the shows, because of it, were super exciting. They really were some of the most exhilarating shows we’ve had in a long time. I still get really excited about playing in America. We’re so well received in Europe and in all these other places, but playing in America still feels uncharted and super exciting.

Did Lady Gaga handpick yeou for this tour or was it a record-label matchmaking?
Oh god, no, it wasn’t a label thing. It came about in a conversation. We were hanging out at Elton’s White Tie & Tiara Ball [in 2010], and he sat us next to each other ’cause he knew we’d get along and it was high time for us to meet. We were talking about music and she was telling me that she used to come see us play when she was younger and was just really inspired and loved our band a lot. I think she holds us very close to her heart in a lot of ways. And she said, “This might sound really weird, but I think that we’d do really well on tour together.” I just said we’d do it in a heartbeat. And it was a done deal in a week.

It’s going to be the gayest show of the year, without question.
(Laughs.) It’s also just really nice to do something that comes from something real rather than something set up by record labels. This comes from a real love of one another, and it’s going to be super exciting because we’re going to be playing for tons of people who have no idea who we are. It’s a great platform for us.

Both you and Gaga wear some pretty flamboyant clothes. Would you be open to wearing a meat anything?
It depends on where it’s placed. (Long pause.) I don’t know what that meant. (Laughs.) God knows I’ve walked out on stage in some wonderful and horrendous and hideous things. My husband was going through pictures recently and we came across, god, this one picture. You just look back on some shit that you wear and it doesn’t seem that long ago, but then you look at the picture and you’re like, “Oh my god, I can’t believe that I wore that horrible patchwork shirt with big bell-bottom trousers.” But I’m not a vain person, and I’m not afraid to look like a fool.

Aside from Lady Gaga, you’ve been able to hang with some cool gay icons, like Dolly Parton, Kylie Minogue and even Jane Fonda. Who are some others that you’d like to chill with?
Since I was a kid Jane Fonda was really somebody I fantasized about meeting in person someday. But that’s a tough question, because I really just like so many—let me ask [band member] Baby Daddy. (Turns away from the phone and says, “Who’s left that I haven’t met that I’m obsessed with?” Baby Daddy: “That you haven’t met?” Shears: “Or that I haven’t stalked?”)
He just called it: Tom Petty. Tom Petty is one of my fucking heroes. He’s not as glamorous as Jane Fonda, but …

Nor is he a gay icon.
He’s not really a gay icon, I guess. But he is for me. I just grew up listening to his music and I’ve just always been a massive fan. My tastes really run the gamut; I’ve got real obsessions and influences and inspirations that I think people couldn’t really predict.

You never liked when people would refer to the Scissor Sisters as a “gay band.” Do you feel like you’ve been able to shake that label over the years?
With this last record we sort of shook it in a way, and then figured out how to wear it. I think it was always really frustrating for me in a lot of ways just because I always felt like being called a “gay band” was a categorization that put us in a second tier, like we were a second-rate creation. But our songwriting and our performances can stand up to anybody else’s, and can stand up next to the best—and labeling it with our sexual preference above all else is demeaning.

However, on the other hand, we are a gay band and there are three gay men and a woman, who might as well be a gay man. That’s shaped our aesthetic, it’s shaped who we are. It’s part of what we sing about, it’s part of the sexuality we express. There are two sides to it, and I think that we are less insecure about it.

In the Urban Dictionary, Jake Shears is defined as the “hot lead singer of the band Scissor Sisters… gay and fabulous… known for taking his clothes off or having them taken off… pretty and funny… his abs are very lickable.”
Oh, that’s good. I like that definition.

If you wrote your own entry, what would you write?
God. That’s a tough question. Rock music fanatic. Horror lover—not “whore” lover. Video gamer. Exuberant and sexual. Former elf.

I grew up always feeling very puckish, like A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I always felt like kind of a very energetic mischievous elf, but I don’t know if that’s really applicable anymore. But that’s how I’d describe myself. I love that I’m in the Urban Dictionary. That’s exciting!

Banning Anti-Gay Housing Discrimination Could Impact our Rights Say Catholic Bishops


25 Years of Gay Rights in New York
It's the silver anniversary of the passage of New York City's gay and lesbian rights bill. The City Council adopted it 21-14 on March 21, 1986, and Mayor Ed Koch signed it into law on April 2.

A quarter of a century ago sounds like a long time in the past, but New York was actually one of the last big American cities to pass such a bill, even though the concept of adding "sexual orientation" to non-discrimination laws was dreamt up here by the Gay Activists Alliance (GAA) in 1971.

The bill was on the verge of passage in 1974, but after a vicious smear campaign by New York's Catholic Archdiocese and the firefighters union, it became the first measure in the Council's history to clear committee only to lose on the floor, when even some sponsors voted against it.

Full Story From Gay City News

posted on

Outed by Colleague US Sailor Faces Dismissal

The military gay ban remains in place

A gay US sailor is facing dismissal after a colleague outed him.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Derek Morado, 26, is to appear before a private military hearing today where he will find out if he is to be fired under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
President Obama has already signed an order to repeal the anti-gay law but it remains in force while Pentagon chiefs train troops to deal with the change,
Under the law, gay and lesbian troops may serve in the military so long as they keep their sexual orientation secret. They can be fired if a third party outs them or if they out themselves.
Morado was outed in 2009 by a colleague. He had posted a picture of himself on MySpace kissing another man, who he says was just a friend.
The sailor, who joined the military at the age of 17, says he has been told that no gay troops have been discharged since October.
His case is being publicised by gay group GetEqual, who have collected signatures ahead of today’s hearing.
Morado said he was supported by other sailors. “All I’ve gotten is support and shock that this is happening – nothing negative,” he told the Fresno Bee.
There is no set date for Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell to end, although President Obama has said troops will serve openly by the end of the year.
Gay troops have been warned to stay in the closet for now.
The US Senate voted to repeal the 17-year-old ban in December.
However, it will not be lifted until the Pentagon certifies that military readiness will not be harmed by the change.
Following this certification, 60 days must pass before repeal officially takes place.

Gay Man in New York McDonald's Posts His Injuries on Facebook

FurtchA gay man who was beaten in an anti-gay attack outside a New York McDonald’s has posted pictures of his injuries on social networking site Facebook.

Damian Furtch, 26, was attacked in Manhattan's West Village on Sunday.

As the New York Daily Post report, he and a friend were approached by two men who are yet to be caught by police.

Furtch tried to leave the venue before the confrontation became physical, but was chased out into the street where he was beaten and verbally abused with homophobic language.

His injuries included two black eyes and a broken nose. He also needed stitches.

Shortly after receiving medical attention he posted pictures of the injuries online. Underneath them he wrote: ‘I thought I was safe in the city I loved but apparently wearing fluorescent colored clothing and pink shoelaces really bother some f****** a**holes to blind side me and hit me.’

Under one photo he wrote: 'Four stitches, thanks bitches!'

CCTV footage of the incident has been released in a bid to identify the assailants. 

Peter Lloyd

Update: Immigration Dept Resume Deportations of American Spouses


posted by DAN SAVAGE  

Flat Platinum Wedding Band Ring - 5mm
But just the gay ones.
We were told the "hold" on the deportations would be indefinite (or until DOMA was decided, which could be years), then we were told that it would be in force for a week, and now we learn that it's already over—in just two days.
The "hold" on same-sex married bi-national couples' green card applications—celebrated by immigration and LGBT advocates—is over, according to the spokesman for the agency that processes those requests. "The guidance we were awaiting ... was received last night, sothe hold is over, so we're back to adjudicating cases as we always have," U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services press secretary Christopher Bentley told Metro Weekly this morning. The agency will continue to "enforce the law," he says, which means that the Defense of Marriage Act—which prohibits the government from recognizing same-sex marriages—prevents those green card applications from being approved.
The Obama administration hasn't "enforced the law" when it comes to the widow's penalty for almost two years now. If you marry an American citizen and you're straight and your American spouse dies before you qualify for a green card, you can stay in this country indefinitely after the death of your spouse in violation of the law. If you marry an American citizen and you're gay, the federal government will tear you from your spouse and you will be deported. Because your genitals don't clash, they match. (When is a member of the White House press corp going to ask about this?) Says Andrew:
The US recognizes the marital and familial bond as the most sacred factor in deciding immigration questions. Why? Because it is understood that the right to marry whomever one chooses is an elemental human right, and that a government that insists on breaking up such marriages, or forcing those in them to leave their own country, is violating basic human rights.
Which means to say that the US government regards gay Americans as sub-human in their needs and wants and rights. Their loves and relationships mean nothing under the law every time they encounter federal authoritah. Aaron and I are total strangers to one another in the eyes of federal law. And because we are legally married, I am paradoxically more vulnerable to being deported than I would be if I were single—because it's plain that I intend to reside in the US indefinitely, even though my visa has an expiration date. So I'm a risk—hence my huge anxiety if I ever leave the country.
Many countries that don't recognize same-sex marriage still allow gay citizens to sponsor their same-sex partners for residency. Even non-citizens: when my boyfriend-at-the-time got a fellowship from the German government to study the arts in Berlin, he was able to get me a work permit. That was in 1989.
When will we catch up to the rest of the free world?

March 30, 2011

Anton Hysen: Call Me Gay or Fag -I don't Care. My Family and Friends Support Me


Given the macho attitudes of some of his fellow sportsmen, Swedish footballer Anton Hysén tells Patrick Strudwick why he decided to come out

Anton Hysén By Patrick Strudwick

A chirpy voice comes on the line. "Hello . . . yes . . . thank you . . . I've had a great day! So many lovely messages! Facebook, texts, e-mails, everything!"
I'm talking to Anton Hysén, the 20-year-old Swedish footballer who this month became the second professional player in history to come out as gay.
He phoned me hours after making the announcement. I congratulate him, tell him that it's big news in Ireland and the UK and say that the first footballer to come out -- England's Justin Fashanu, in 1990 -- killed himself eight years later. Hysén's tone changes.
"Yes," he replies. "I heard about him."
To his generation, it seems, Fashanu has become a fable.
But Hysén isn't one for introspection.
Here is what he said to the Swedish football magazine Offside: "I am a footballer. And gay. If I perform as a footballer, then I do not think it matters if I like girls or boys . . . people may call me anything they want, it will just make me even more psyched."
Perhaps he has his father -- the former Liverpool defender Glenn Hysén -- to thank for his positive, robust approach. Hysén senior became known not just for his sensational tackles but for his refusal to take the press seriously. He would answer all questions with the word "sex".
Twenty years later his son, who plays for Sweden's second division Utsiktens BK, has caught the media off guard, refusing to conform to football's heterosexual diktats.
When we sit down, three days after our phone conversation, for his first newspaper interview, I ask him when he realised he was gay.
"I think I've known for a very long time," he replies, "but I didn't start thinking about it properly until I was 18 because I was dating girls. I guess I just wanted to be like everyone else, but I knew I was attracted to men, so I had to face it. There's nothing to it really."
Growing up, did the other boys at his football academy suspect? "People thought I was a bit on that side. In the showers they would say, 'Don't drop the soap, Anton's here'. I'm like 'whatever'. If you want to do a homo joke I don't care because I do it myself."
I look for signs of incongruence, of any distress in his facial expressions, and find none. He simply laughs, shrugs and looks around the sparse room in his father's Gothenburg house. Both ears are pierced with small black studs. He is casually dressed in a black sweater with a delicate chain round his neck.
Strangely, his accent is neither Swedish nor Liverpudlian, where he spent his early years, but American -- he went to college in North Carolina.
Hysén came out to his friends and family soon after he realised himself. "My dad was really nice. He said, 'You can do whatever you want, you can become a ballerina, I'll always support you'. My brothers were the same." (Tobias, 29, and Alexander, 23, are also footballers, playing for IFK Göteborg and GIF Sundsvall respectively.)
This might surprise some Swedes. Ten years ago his father Glenn Hysén, 51, attacked a man who tried to grope him in a public toilet. By the time the incident reached the newspapers, the insinuation -- strenuously denied by Glenn Hysén -- was that it was a homophobic attack.
"It got twisted," says Hysén junior. "If you touch me down there when you don't have permission I would hit you too."
Why did he decide to come out publicly? "I want to show everyone that it's not a big deal. It shouldn't matter who you are. Some players dropped out of their careers because they were afraid of the reaction of the fans." He says he doesn't know of any other gay players, although he has heard rumours.
And why come out now? "My dad sent me a message telling me he wanted to do an article about it and I said, 'I have nothing to hide. Let's do it'."
What followed was the kind of pep talk not usually heard in sporting families. "Dad said, 'A lot of people in this world are going to be really proud of you. You're doing a great thing, not just for football, or for gay people, but for the whole community'."
The prospect of a negative reaction from fans and the public didn't deter him. "Why would I care?" he says, pulling a face of bored annoyance. "You can call me 'gay', 'fag' -- I don't care. I have my family and friends' support. Other than that I don't care."
It is still early days, but he claims the reaction has been largely supportive. "There have been some negative (comments). People start thinking you just want the attention of the media. I don't read much of it, though."
This is undoubtedly wise: after our interview, the Swedish channel TV4 removes its article about him from its website because of the volume of hate-filled comments.
How would he deal with homophobic abuse? "I would say, 'Good for you -- you're immature and unsure of yourself'." Two days after coming out Hysén played a local friendly match, but with so few spectators he can't yet judge how the crowd will respond. "But my team-mates were like, 'Let's go, let's win the game', the same way they always do."
The rivals of his brothers' teams, he says, have already made up chants, however. For the first time Hysén fidgets and looks uncomfortable: "They're about everyone in the city doing to me the stuff that gay people do when they're having intercourse."
Hysén says that he has never been attracted to any fellow players, but when I ask about boyfriends, football is the sticking point. "I've never had a relationship," he says. "This is the main problem: no one (gay) knows about football and no one is even interested in football!"
He shrieks these last few words with the disgust one might reserve for describing a hate crime.
His club has proved supportive, reassuring him that they will suspend players who make abusive comments.
Given his experiences, why does he think other gay players stay in the closet? "It's different if you're in the Premier League," he says. "The press will be much bigger. And if you don't have the support of your family . . .
"It will be easier for me but it won't be easy -- I don't think football has changed. But it's 2011, it's time to change."
For now he is still coming to terms with the huge international reaction: "It's crazy. I heard that Perez Hilton (the US celebrity blogger) wrote about me on his website! How the hell does he know about me?"
In time, I suggest, it will be more than just a media mushroom cloud: Hysén will have to come to terms with being an historical figure, the Buzz Aldrin of gay footballers. He looks stunned, humbled and stutters a few "ers" before composing himself.
"I've done something for everyone now, so I just hope we can all learn from this. It feels great."
- Patrick Strudwick
Irish Independent

Transgender triathlete Chris Mosier talks about his transition from competing against female athletes to now competing against men



When I began to consider transitioning, I knew my athletic life would change. It was a decision that I put a lot of thought into, and one that held up my process for a significant amount of time. I’ve always been an athlete. I love training, working toward a goal, competing, and sharing the experience of team sports with other athletes. I knew that choosing to be open about my gender identity would require me to negotiate my identity as an athlete – it would change my category of competition, change the way people interacted with me, and change my results at races.

But I am proud that I can finally say it: I’m a middle-of-the-pack guy.

Okay, a top-third-of-the-pack guy, but I’m not what I used to be.

I used to be a top-10 girl: strong, fast, and dominant. I was a team leader and MVP in most of my high school seasons playing volleyball, basketball and softball. As a masculine high school student, I played well enough that players on other teams would ask if I was a guy (which I took to be a compliment in many ways – and looking back, I’m a bit disappointed that they all knew before I did!). After college, when I began running, I was finishing many of my races in the top 10 percent. I won my first triathlon, which basically hooked me into the sport, and two years after my obsession with swimming, biking, and running began, I’m proud to say I have finished an Ironman. Even with that accomplishment, I never felt comfortable sharing the results of my races because my category of competition didn’t fit my identity. So now, I’m a middle of the pack dude. 
My times are about the same, but competing in the male category puts me at a disadvantage against cisgendered men who had a lifetime of hormonal influence to their body and muscle-structure development. Triathlon is an individual sport, but competitors are ranked against others in the athlete’s gender category and age group. Becoming the person I know I am and continuing to be a competitive triathlete, runne, and cyclist were both important, but it was difficult to manage both. In the end, the decision was clear: I would rather be comfortable with myself in the hours that I am not competing than to be uncomfortable in my own skin and be doing well athletically.

I made the right decision for me.

As a trans guy, I find myself working harder than ever to compete against my new competition. My times are improving, and my desire to compete is stronger than ever now that I am comfortable with myself. And while I am fiercely competitive, regardless of my results, I am pleased that I am now comfortable before and after races, and not just in the middle when I’m cycling too fast to really be seen.

For some transgender people, transition means giving up participation in sports. Being an athlete is an important part of my identity, and one that I am not willing to let go. My goal for this year is to qualify for Race Across America, a cross-country cycling race that goes from California to Maryland in 11 days or less. I am currently sponsored by Odwalla and am up for sponsorship with TRX. Sponsorship provides assistance with my training and racing, but it also provides me with a platform to be a good role model and advocate for transgender folks in sports.

It took me a long time to get comfortable with being a middle-of-the-pack guy. Looking at the bigger picture, being trans and being an athlete are only two parts of my identity, but two important parts. I am many things – the most important of those things is that I am happy.

My TRX sponsorship video talks about some of the things I do and who I am. Please watch this 30-second video; the sponsorship contest is based on number of views of my video, so please repost it and spread the word. And if anyone is interested in sponsoring a transguy athlete, please contact me !

Administrator fired over anti-gay remarks already hired as human services director


Crystal Dixon wrote in the Toledo Free Press that gay rights are not civil rights

By Tara Cavanaugh 
JACKSON- An Ohio woman who was fired over her anti-gay editorial in a newspaper has been hired to fill the position of a joint human services director in Jackson.
The Jackson Citizen Patriot reports Crystal Dixon was fired in 2008 from her position as an administrator at the University of Toledo for anti-gay remarks she made in the Toledo Free Press.
"I take great umbrage at the notion that those choosing the homosexual lifestyle are 'civil rights victims,'" Dixon wrote in the Toledo Free Press. "Here's why. I cannot wake up tomorrow and not be a Black woman. I am genetically and biologically a Black woman and very pleased to be so as my Creator intended. Daily, thousands of homosexuals make a life decision to leave the gay lifestyle evidenced by the growing population of PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex Gays) and Exodus International just to name a few."
According to the Patriot, "City and county officials said Dixon was up front about her termination from the university. They said her level of professional experience was more important than her political views."
"The residents of Jackson County and the City of Jackson deserve more than just somebody with the appropriate skills to serve as their human resources director," said Emily Dievendorf, director of policy at Equality Michigan. "The job in question places Crystal Dixon as lead negotiator for contract agreements and will make her an influential voice in searches for department heads. She needs to be capable of providing equal opportunity and advocating for the interests of all Jackson residents. Her job history, a component on a resume easily as important as required skills, does not support her being qualified to serve the entire Jackson community."
Dixon will make $87,030 per year. She starts April 24.

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